- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Braves may have finally uncovered the secret to winning at home.

Just make sure Williams Perez is the starting pitcher - even if he has to fly in on the day of the game.

Perez allowed only two hits and one run in eight innings, Freddie Freeman homered and the Atlanta Braves finally claimed just their second home win by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 on Wednesday night.

Perez (1-0) was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett and flew to Atlanta from Rochester, New York, on Wednesday morning. He wasn’t fazed by the unusual travel schedule as he gave the struggling Braves only their second home win in 18 games.

“Eight innings of one-run ball is pretty spectacular,” Freeman said. “… It’s nice to finally get some hits and be on the winning side of things.”

Perez did not walk a batter while matching his longest start in the majors. He allowed no baserunners through four innings before Ryan Howard led off the fifth with a homer. Perez recovered with 10 straight outs.

“Coaches kept encouraging me to attack the strike zone, so I focused on that,” Perez said through a translator.

Perez also started, but did not earn the win, in Atlanta’s only other home victory, 8-1 over the Dodgers on April 19.

The Braves ended their streaks of five straight losses overall and 11 straight at home.

Perez faced only one batter over the minimum. The only other hit he allowed was a one-out single in the eighth by Freddy Galvis. Pinch-hitter Darin Ruf then hit into a double play.

The Braves’ 1-16 start at home was the worst in the majors since the 1913 Yankees lost their first 17 decisions. The Yankees had one tie in that span, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Arodys Vizcaino allowed two-out singles to Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez in the ninth before striking out Mikael Franco to end the game.

Freeman had three hits and scored two runs.

Perez was needed when scheduled starter Jhoulys Chacin was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for minor league left-hander Adam McCreery on Wednesday.

The promotion of the 24-year-old Perez left the Braves with five starting pitchers who are 25 or younger.

Freeman belted his second homer in two nights with one out in the fifth to push the Braves’ lead to 4-1. Freeman has six of Atlanta’s nine homers. Every other team in the majors has at least 25.

Freeman’s shot to right-center knocked Jerad Eickhoff out of the game after allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

“Eickhoff didn’t have command of anything,” said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin. “He threw some good curveballs but he hung a lot of them.”

Williams was pitching on three days’ rest when he was pulled in the fourth inning of the Braves’ other home win.

HOWARD’S SECOND HOME

Perez retired the first 12 batters before Howard’s eighth homer, an opposite-field shot that landed in the first row of the left-field seats. It was Howard’s 22nd career homer at Turner Field - the most for any visiting player. Mets third baseman David Wright is second with 19.

MOMENTUM

The Braves were eager to clear a rotation spot for Perez, who threw a one-hit shutout for Gwinnett on Friday and was named the International League pitcher of the week. He gave up only an infield hit in the 4-0 win over Charlotte.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Dalier Hinojosa, on the 15-day DL with a right hand contusion, will have tests to determine the cause of excess fluid around his hamate bone. … OF Cody Asche (right oblique strain) is closer to coming off the DL. He played seven innings on defense in extended spring training and has been taking batting practice. He is scheduled to play a full game on Thursday.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (4-1), who ranks among the NL leaders with his 2.17 ERA and .188 opponents’ batting average, will try to continue his strong start to the season in the final game of the series on Thursday night.

Braves: Rookie RHP Aaron Blair (0-2, 3.31) will look for his first win in his first appearance against the Phillies.

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